Venezuela seizes 2 oil rigs owned by U.S. company
CARACAS — Venezuela has quietly seized control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior Energy Services after the company shut them down because the state oil monopoly was months behind on payments.
The seizure took place Thursday after a judge in the state of Anzoategui, accompanied by four members of the local police and national guard, entered a Superior depot and ordered it to hand over control of two specialized rigs to an affiliate of PDVSA, the state-owned oil producer.
PDVSA justified the equipment's expropriation, calling it essential to the South American nation's development and welfare, according to a court order obtained by The Associated Press. Company workers were instructed to load the rigs onto trucks to be deployed at “critical wells” elsewhere, according to the document.
Oil companies are weary of working with PDVSA, which has accumulated huge debts to service contractors on whom it depends to develop the world's largest proven oil reserves.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- 16 killed in China coal mine shaft collapse
- Pakistan coup fails to make finish line as parliament backs Prime Minister Sharif
- Hong Kong protesters to vote
- Iraq: Key town taken from Islamic State
- Barricaded lawmakers fashioned ‘spears’ from flag poles in attack on Canada’s Parliament Hill
- Israelis label relations with U.S. ‘critical,’ lament state of ‘crisis’
- Mussolini’s air raid shelter opens
- Gestapo impostor tricked British fascists, secret files show
- Iran executes woman who claimed man she killed had tried to rape her
- Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
- As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela